Spring storm ambles away

Forecasters say worst of recent snowy weather has passed

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The worst of the weather has passed Steamboat Springs after a spring storm dumped about a foot of snow across the valley Thursday.

Forecasters predict the storm will weaken today as the slow-moving bands of weather sprouting from a weather system based in the Four Corners region begins to lose influence over local weather.

Joe Ramey, forecaster with the National Weather Service's Grand Junction office, said the system was remarkable because it dropped more snow in the valley than on the surrounding mountaintops surrounding the Yampa Valley. Ramey said he did not expect to renew a winter weather advisory for Steamboat after it expired Thursday evening.

"The tricky part of this storm is it's a low-pressure storm slowly spinning around the region," he said.

Despite the heavy snowfall that was measured at 9 inches in the afternoon and was expected to reach as much as a foot, local law enforcement agencies reported no serious accidents or injuries in Routt County.

At 10 a.m., Colorado State Patrol troopers responded to a one-car rollover near Toponas, Sgt. Scott Elliott said.

In town, Capt. Joel Rae, of the Steamboat Springs Police Department, said his officers had responded to a few slide-off accidents, but there were no injuries and no major damage to any cars.

Ramey said the system had the chance to drop so much snow because it perched over the region instead of blowing through.

"It just kind of sits there and doesn't change too quickly," he said. "It's ambling off to the east instead of a nice, quick progression."

The storm system is expected to hit the Front Range towns today.

"It's going to have pretty incredible snow amounts in the foothills of the Front Range," Ramey said. "And finally that thing will eject out of here."

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs' Division of Emergency Management, in coordination with the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol is issuing a travel alert for the mountains and Front Range urban corridor through Saturday morning.

"Based on the current National Weather Service forecast, a very strong winter storm will bring significant amounts of moisture," the alert warns. "This storm has the potential to create dangerous driving conditions with periods of very heavy snowfall and extremely limited visibility. Travelers should avoid travel (today), if possible. If travel is necessary, travelers should pack a survival kit and be prepared in the event they become stranded."

In Steamboat, snow should slow down, with a chance for a light snow this afternoon into Saturday.

By Monday, the weather is likely to warm to at least the 50s, with another windy storm possible Wednesday.

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